A Red Ryder BB Gun With A Compass In The Stock And This Thing That Tells Time and Other Things To Ask For For Christmas
It’s that time of year when God, proving that He has a sense of humor, will reach out to stations and ask “If there was something you really want that we could work into next year’s budget, what would it be?”
Obviously the answer is and shall always be, “Paige Nienaber as our Promotions consultant. I hear she’s great.”
My experience is that a reply of “cash for contesting” will be perceived by the Bean Counters at corporate as frivolous and not entirely well thought out, and they’ll just look at you as some kid who mistakenly wandered into the candy store and thought everything was free.
One of the things that will never change in Radio will be our need to be out at remotes, appearances, festivals and concerts, and for lack of a better term, a need to “look good”.
I’ve been fortunate enough to attend about eight Taylor Swift shows this past year. I never actually went inside; I was there to work the on-site. And it was painfully clear that the majority of stations sum total, max effort, the most they can bring to the table for the A#1 event of the year, was a canopy and an eight foot table.
One of the stations I consult actually had room in their checking account and was asking “So, is anyone doing anything very exciting with stuff at promotions? Any new set-ups or stuff?”
And the answer was no. Outside of some pretty spectacular remote vehicles that I saw at Radio Days Europe in Dublin in ’14, nah. Not much shaking.
Updating your sound system, canopy and accoutrement is great. You should. But what can you add that will perhaps make a difference?
Energy-FM in San Diego has a pretty nifty paperless entry system. That would certainly differentiate your station from the cave people with entry pads.
In 2015 and beyond? Any kind of system for taking and posting hashtagged photos instantaneously would be great and there are several really good options to choose from.
Lights. You’re on the plaza after Taylor Swift. How do you get people’s attention? Lights. Carina Iannuzzi at iHeart in Phoenix regularly begs and steals these from promoter friends to increase her on-site footprint.
And of course, you can do what stations like Power 96 in Miami, WIL 92 in St. Louis and Z-95.3 in Vancouver do for their concerts: they, for pennies, build their own sets for each show. The Voice chair for the Maroon 5 show in Miami? Cost $36 for Gino Reyes to build and kicked the crap out of artist cutouts from other stations.
Ditto with Kelly Rebal with her set-up for Dierks Bentley.
Or Taryn Stevenson with her on-site salon and charging station.
You wouldn’t put up ugly outdoor or run a crappy TV spot. So it’s alright for our presentation at events to look like ass?
What else could you possibly ask for that would have a decidedly positive affect on your station? Part-time hours. People to be out marketing the station on the streets. People to staff your events. People to give you some live hours on the weekend so you can at least squeeze in some fun and topical weekend contesting.
Think of it as a slot machine. If you ask often enough, you will probably get some kind of pay out.